Webster-Roy: Team to probe runaway children

AN independent team will investigate the circumstances of youngsters who run away from children’s homes and allegations of child abuse at such places, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy said in a statement on Friday.
She said the investigation will take place over four months and will involve “interviews, document reviews, submissions and site visits to various facilities and organisations servicing children.”
The statement said the team will investigate “reports of child abuse at children’s homes, rehabilitation centres and other institutions which provide residential care for children” plus “the incidence or situations of children absconding from such facilities.”
The probe began on July 5.
The Government noted its duty of “care, protection and supervision” of children enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and embodied in the package of children’s legislation of 2015.
“The minister has noted that while there exist policy and procedures for recording, monitoring and treating with incidents of child abuse, it continues, with recent allegations in the media of abuse to children housed at several children’s homes and a child support centre.
“Concerted efforts must be made to eliminate its occurrence at these child care facilities.”
Webster-Roy said, “As minister, it is my duty to seek the best interest of children and to do all that is possible to ensure that all boys and girls are happy, healthy and confident that their rights are respected, protected and promoted to facilitate their holistic development towards achieving their fullest potential as active contributors to society.”
This goal is in line with the National Child Policy, she added.
Webster-Roy said the Government continues to have arrangements to address the needs of children, including the care and protection of those children who are wards of the State, are in need of care and are placed at residential child care facilities.
“The minister has directed the Children’s Authority to work with the Child Protection Unit of the Police Service to pay special attention to the issue of child abuse in the exercise of its functions, particularly the licensing, monitoring and evaluation exercise of children’s homes, rehabilitation centres, child support centres and any other institution under the remit of the authority.”
Team members:
Chair: Retired Appeal Court judge Justice Judith Jones
Youth representatives Lawrence Arjoon, Aaron George
Youth programming Lorenzo Chariandy
Clinical psychologists Aisha Corbie, Keshan Latchman
Social workers Dr Mona Dillon, Claire Gittens
Researcher Marcus Kissoon,
Child psychiatrist Dr Stacy-Ann Phillip.
The post Webster-Roy: Team to probe runaway children appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.
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